2008 Topps Chrome review!

(click here to see the archive of Wax Heaven product reviews)

Topps Back on Topp(s)!

Well, ain’t this a surprise! This shouldn’t be, after all I am an “Upper Deck” guy as the rumor goes but today, a relatively low-end brand did something that’s only happened one other time in over 30 product reviews at Wax Heaven, it’s been perfect.

Design: A+

While the base Topps set did absolutely nothing for me when it came out, adding the “chrome” finish gives it a whole new appeal. While one card design alone doesn’t hit a home run, when you add the ridiculous amounts of different inserts from past Topps releases like 1992 Bowman and 1991 Stadium Club, it is then when it goes above and beyond.

Price: A-

You can find hobby boxes of Chrome for as low as $53 per box on the Internet and around $70-$80 per box in Florida card shops. After going through a list of autographs available in the set, I made the decision that I was not going to buy hobby for the two guaranteed autographs. Instead, I bought 4 retail blasters from Target for $19.99 a piece and couldn’t be more satisfied. The only reason I didn’t give it an A+ was because of the 4 cards per box in the blaster. An extra card or even two would have been excellent!

Pulls: A+

Okay, as many of you know my absolute favorite gimmick in baseball cards are Refractors. I love everything about them. When else could you trade a rare, low-numbered Refractor of some bum for a star player or game-used relic? These four retail boxes yielded a total of 27 Refractors. I got 8 regular, 3 gold, 5 blue, 2 inserts, and a whopping 9 Xfractors! Along with the Refractors, I pulled a total of 23 inserts (not counting Refractors), and one autograph, which was not a guarantee!

Overall: A+

As much as I hate to say it, Topps put together a perfect baseball product for fans and new collectors alike. You get everything you could ever want, including many nostalgic-inducing inserts and quality parallels in almost every pack. This is one of the very few products I would recommend to a non-collector or someone looking to make a return to the hobby.

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14 comments

  1. That Pence card is really sweet. I love the photo it reminds me of a vintage card that I can’t quite identify in my head yet.

    It would have been a perfect card if that stupid logo intrusion were not there. Plus it has the Rookie Cup….. I have chills now.

  2. I’m starting to fall in love with this set as well. I’ve bought six packs so far, and each time I pull something absolutely shiney, I feel special. The refractors are beautiful to be sure. The retail packs are actually a bargain, since you get four cards for three bucks at Target. My hobby shop has packs at four bucks, and I guess there’s special inserts, but for a buck less, I’ll stick to Target.

  3. Love that Ichiro. For your price rating, does that factor in hobby or just retail? If not would it lower or higher the grade? Looks like retail might be the way to go.

  4. Both hobby and retail. If you can pick a Hobby box up for under $55 dollars after shipping that would be an A+!

  5. I bought two retail blasters and did much better then on two hobby boxes I bought, love the blue and Xfractors. Although I’d stay away from any retail a month from now, all the “first wave” blasters of any new product from Topps are almost always loaded compared to later shipments.

  6. Are there x-fractors in the hobby boxes? I’ve opened one and have two more on the way (should arrive today! Good Times!). In my first box I didn’t get any x-fractors and just a few refractors in general. I did get my two promised autos, though.

    Seems like maybe retail blasters are better for refractors and hobby boxes are better for autos. If I had known this I may have mixed it up a little better.

    Or, maybe it’s just random and they’re all the same. Anyone have any solid info on whether there is a difference?

  7. Blue Ref and x-fractors are retail only. That is why they are not #’d. The only auto I saw that Dayf left off is the Armando Gallaraga that I pulled from a hobby pack.

    However, the biggest differences that I noted on your other post, are the Red Ref #’d to 25, and the super fractor 1/1’s that are hobby only. I opened about 5 hobby packs and pulled an auto and a Red Ref.

    There are also #’d refractors of the autos. I don’t know if those are in retail or not. If they are, I’m sure the odds are astronomical.

    The other thing I noted was the fact that the packs are actually cheaper if you get a hobby box on eBay from a reputable seller that packages their boxes well. I have gotten several boxes in the mail this year with no issues.

    Actually the funny thing is, the 2 boxes of Topps product I’ve gotten this year that were short on the guaranteed autos, and/or had damaged cards in them both came from my local hobby shop.

  8. Just broke open my first hobby box of Topps Chrome and came up with several cool inserts and a Red Refr. J.R. Towles auto. Looked it up on Beckett but they didn’t have a value assigned. Any ideas?

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